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From the Wire: 'Battleship''s Less-Than-Pinpoint Accuracy

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by Matt Singer
May 30, 2012 8:34 AM
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"Battleship."

At a certain point -- somewhere between the scene when the aliens from the planet just like Earth turn out to be allergic to sunlight and the scene where the U.S. Navy uses a grid of tsunami buoys to blindfire at the albino lizard aliens from the planet Idiotica -- I began to get the feeling that "Battleship" may not in fact be an accurate depiction of naval warfare. But what do I know? I'm just some schnook who watches stuff for a living. I've never been in the shit, as they say. I've never had my boots down range, as they say. I only know what they say at all because I heard someone say it in a movie.

In other words: I'm no expert. But Dennis and A.B. Dilucente are. Dennis flew for the Marines and even shot some of the airplane scenes in "Top Gun"; his wife A.B. served in the Navy for 28 years. At Box Office Magazine, they have a conversation about the accuracy of "Battleship." Surprisingly, they're fairly satisfied with a lot of the smaller details. Even Rihanna gets high marks as a sailor. Rihanna! Here's A.B.:

"She was very believable as military because of all the muttering under her breath. All the 'Shut up and eat your fried chicken' banter is very common. She had one earring violation, though. In the beginning, she had regulation earrings on-you're supposed to have quarter-inch round silver balls for enlisted. But at the end when she was in her whites, it looked like she had diamond studs in."

No diamond studs in the Navy, got it. Okay, anything else?

"Also, you wouldn't send your tactical officer and your chief and your weapons person on a raft out to check out a mysterious ship. They're the ones directing the action, so you wouldn't put them on an exploratory boarding party."

In "Battleship"'s defense, that sort of tactic may not fly in the Navy, but it's pretty much standard operating procedure in TV and film. That's been "Star Trek"'s go-to move for half a century. "What's that? There's an alien planet that looks and behaves like gladiatorial Rome? And the inhabitants are incredibly hostile and they're almost certain to kidnap anyone the Enterprise sends down there? Well, hell, let's put Kirk and Spock on the away team! They're not important or anything." Maybe "Battleship"'s screenwriters learned about warfare the way I did: by watching other movies.

Read more of "Expert Opinion: 'Battleship' vs. Naval and 'Top Gun' Veterans."

[H/T Movie City News]

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